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Restaurant review: Bacco at the Elysium, Paphos
So, where would one go to dine, if your pension was increased three fold or a lottery win had you clutching some spare €50 notes to play with? Keeping in mind you would now be in the business of demanding excellence in every regard from the selected venue, the service, ambience, and obviously superior food and wine.
Answer: Bacco restaurant set within the reassuring and always professional confines of the Elysium Hotel. Here diners can experience a tutorial in the art of serving glorious food in what must be one of the most perfect outdoor dining areas in Paphos.
The Bacco menu is such a thing of sheer beauty, that if by reading it you don’t immediately start to dribble with delight and anticipation then, I am afraid we could never be friends.
Here the undisputed headline act is Italian born Chef Nelson Reposo, a young man who manages to offer diners a technically flawless testament to the always confusing art of actually making ingredients taste more, rather than less of themselves.
After choosing from the cold appetisers the creamy combination of gorgonzola and mascarpone cheeses on toasted brioche partnered with a roasted pear drizzled with truffle oil, we all knew immediately that the culinary bar had been set very high.
There followed a delicate chick pea soup with lemon infused olive oil served with pan seared Atlantic scallops, next asparagus topped with parmesan and butter served with rolls of Parma ham. That triumphant trio would have sufficed but we all felt honour bound to continue with a dish of home made tagliolini served with fresh lobster in basil, cherry and tomato sauce.
It’s here one has to stop for a moment and report the home made pasta is excellent with diners able to sample a dish of papperdelle served with a ragout of slow cooked wild boar, linguini with Cyprus sea bass, risotto with smoked salmon or a bumper plate of spaghetti served with fresh seafood.
My fried sea bass in potato crust with courgette and citrus vinaigrette was in one word delicious with the rest of the party treating themselves to perfect beef tenderloin served with parmesan mashed potatoes three pepper sauce and rocket salad.
The service throughout was so good I was almost bubbling with sincere gratitude in the very same way one acts after your doctor has told you the tests have come back negative. We had an excellent wine waiter who didn’t flog one of the most expensive bottle in the wine cellar but had taken time and trouble to check our food selection to reappear with suggestions and easy to understand explanations on which wine would make an ideal partnership with our meal. Throughout this feast two young musicians played suitable and mercifully non intrusive melodies on cello and violin.
Even cursory glances at the pudding menu meant that we couldn’t really then blame chef or indeed bring any resentment to the fact that he may have brought forward our combined cardiac infraction by three months after we indulged in a blissful parade of puds. Amaretto semifreddo with chocolate sauce, or the espresso pannacotta with crème Anglias, not forgetting luscious lumps of light but lethal dark chocolate profiteroles.
For those truly dedicated pudding fans chef will even plate up a complete selection of his delights and this will be considered as one course. That’s how the menu works, you can pay for a choice of two courses per person at €43, and for three courses it’s €53 and the whole shebang with cheese included comes to €61.
Okay its certainly not tavern prices but as a special treat the food is simply a joy to consume, technically excellent and perfectly presented - every dish fairly sings with inventiveness from a chef who cooks not just for money, applause, or ostentation, but with pure passion for his work.
WHERE Bacco Garden at the Elysium Hotel, Queen Verenikis Street, Paphos
CONTACT 26 844444, email@example.com
PRICE €50 upwards